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Past talks

Sister Clare Condon
RightsTalk: Sanctioned violence - what does it do to our society and relationships?
Sister Clare Condon
Wednesday 13 August 2014

Here in Sydney, each morning, the media reports on the preceding night’s acts of violence and as a society we rightly deplore such criminal acts.  Yet, some violence is sanctioned – on sports arenas, in films, electronic games and in the home.  Violence is not only physical it can also be emotional and psychological.  It erodes the fabric of a civilized society and our human interactions.

This presentation will reflect on what underlies violence in human relationships and our interactions with one another.

Sister Clare Condon is the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict. Sister Clare has been with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan for about 40 years. During this time she has held the position of President of Catholic Religious Australia from 2008-2014.  In 1994 Sr Clare was appointed as a member of the General Council and Trustee of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan – a position she held until 1999. Prior to being elected Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in 2005 she was Chancellor for Stewardship of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.
Sr Clare is an educator, advocate and administrator with a strong focus on the needs of those most disadvantaged in society and on the Catholic Church’s social justice mission.

Date: Wednesday 13 August 2014

Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Filming:  All RightsTalks session are recorded and each session will be available on the Commission website. Please note that by attending the event, you are releasing and consenting to the use of those photos and video in various forms of media, on the web and in print by the Commission.

Graeme Innes
RightsTalk: Balancing the Scales of Justice
Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes
Monday 16 June 2014

Monday 16 June, 12:30pm – 1:30pm

 

Access to justice is a significant issue for people with disabilities around Australia. Earlier this year the Australian Human Rights Commission released its report Equal before the law: towards disability justice strategies that focused on people with disabilities who need communication supports or who have complex and multiple support needs and who have come in contact with the criminal justice system. Negative assumptions and attitudes, coupled with a lack of support services and minimal provision of adjustments, often means that people with disabilities are viewed as not credible, not capable of giving evidence or unable to participate in legal proceedings. As a result many are left without effective access to justice. This report addresses these injustices.

Since the release of the report a number of state and territory governments have acknowledged our finding, and are considering how they might develop Disability Justice Strategies. In this session our panel will discuss the issues and challenges surrounding access to justice for people with disabilities, whilst exploring some of the programmes and services that have proven successful in various jurisdictions.

Panelists include:

  • Mark Ierace, SC Senior Public Defender
  • Jim Simpson, Senior Advocate for the NSW Council of Intellectual Disability
  • Therese Sands, Co-executive Director of People with Disability Australia
  • Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford

Panelist bios

 

Senior Advocate for the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability Jim Simpson Jim Simpson is a lawyer and advocate who has worked in the disability field for thirty years. Moving from private legal practice as a partner in a city firm, he took a central role in establishing the Intellectual Disability Rights Service in Sydney.

Jim now does systemic advocacy work as Senior Advocate for the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability.  This has included considerable involvement in law reform and access to justice issues.  At present, much of Jim’s work is aimed at equitable access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people with intellectual disability who are in contact with the criminal justice system. 

Tribunal work is Jim’s other main focus.  He is a presiding member of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal and Mental Health Review Tribunal.

 

Senior Public Defender Mark Ierace SC Mark Ierace SC was admitted to the NSW Bar in 1981. He has appeared as a private barrister variously for the defence and prosecution, as a Public Defender, as in-house counsel for the Commonwealth DPP and as counsel assisting the NSW Police Integrity Commission. He is a member of the NSW Sentencing Council and has been the Senior Public Defender since 2007.

He has a long-standing interest in intellectual disability and criminal law. He is the author of “Intellectual Disability; A Criminal Lawyers’ Manual” published in 1989. In 1994 he was seconded to the NSW Law Reform Commission, to assist the Commission with its reference; People with an Intellectual Disability and the Criminal Justice System. He has appeared in many cases where the intellectual disability of an accused person has been a major consideration.

He has also practised as an international criminal lawyer in the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, leading the team that prosecuted the commander of the troops that perpetrated the siege of Sarajevo. Between 2009 and 2012 he was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, where he taught International Criminal Law.

 

Co-executive Director People with Disability Australia Therese Sands Therese has worked for over 20 years in education, training, policy development and advocacy in the area of disability and human rights. A key area of her work focuses on engaging with international human rights mechanisms to progress the rights of people with disability.  Therese has participated on a number of non-government (NGO) working groups preparing for United Nations (UN) reviews of Australia under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).  She acted as co-coordinator of the NGO delegation for the first UN review of Australia under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  She has a Master of Human Rights Law and Policy from the University of NSW.  Therese is a Life Member of People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and PWDA Co-Chief Executive Officer.

 

Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford joined the NSW Police Force on 21 September 1971.

Among other corporate level portfolios, Assistant Commissioner Clifford is the Corporate Sponsor for Vulnerable Communities, and is a member of various inter-agency committees including the Justice Disability Advisory Council.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Broderick
RightsTalk: African Women’s Voices - FGM and women’s leadership
Thursday 29 May 2014

5:30pm – 7:00pm

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, will host African Women’s Voices with special guests Juliana Nkrumah, Founder Advisor of African Women Australia, Mabel Imali Isolio, Gender Consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya, and participating women from the ‘Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Lives Conference – FGM Program’.

This session will give voice to African women issues and rights on female genital mutilation and the importance of the role of women’s leadership within the community. 

Juliana Nkrumah AM: Founder Advisor of African Women Australia. She will be speaking on African-Australian women’s voices and rights.

 

Mabel Mali Isoli: Gender Consultant based in Kenya. She will be speaking on invisible issues for women in Africa and in the diaspora.

Our Voices: Filling the Gaps – FGM Spokesperson Program: Spokespersons from this program will share their experiences of the program and its outcomes.  This Program was organised by African Women Australia in partnership with South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE Granville College and funded by the Department of Health.

This Rights Talk is being held in advance of the ‘Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Lives Conference – FGM Program’ organised by African Women Australia in partnership with Social and Community Services Section, South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE, Granville College, on 30 May 2014, at Granville TAFE, Sydney.
 

 

Fred Chaney
RightsTalk: Advancing Aboriginal social and economic rights through effective governance of governments
The Hon Fred Chaney AO
Tuesday 20 May 2014




Since the last year of the McMahon government all successive governments have aimed to reduce if not eliminate Aboriginal disadvantage. It is universally agreed that while progress has been made, particularly in the area of legal rights, social and uneconomic rights have lagged both hopes and expectations. A lot has been learned about what works over the 40 years since 1972.  Applying that knowledge continues to be problematic. At a time of unprecedented political focus on Aboriginal advancement the biggest challenge remains the how rather than the what. There are promising developments which provide a real prospect that government might break through the delivery barrier.

Time: 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Date: Tuesday 20 May

Filming:  All RightsTalks session are recorded and each session will be available on the Commission website. Please note that by attending the event, you are releasing and consenting to the use of those photos and video in various forms of media, on the web and in print by the Commission.

David Kinley
A New Right to Freedom from Corruption
Professor David Kinley
Wednesday 30 April 2014

Global corruption has reached staggering proportions. Illicit financial flows out of developing countries over the past decade are calculated to be US$8.44 trillion. This is more than ten times what those countries received in aid during that time, and equivalent to the total of all foreign direct investment into the developing world over the same period. As a result, governments are compromised, the law perverted, and human rights trampled.  Corruption pollutes public and private spheres in wealthy states as well as poorer ones.

Australia is no exception, as illustrated by ICAC's investigation of public sector fraud in NSW, the Heydon Royal Commission into unions' finances, and the ongoing criminal investigations into bribery allegations against Australian corporations Securency/NPA and Leighton Holdings. But rather than be a victim of this global "plague" (as Kofi Annan called it), can human rights contribute to its cure? David Kinley argues it can, by way of the creation of a new, free-standing human right in international law - a "right to freedom from corruption".

In this talk David Kinley explains why we need such a new right, what form it should take, and whether it would work in practice.

Date: Wednesday 30 April
Time: 12:30pm  - 1:30pm

Filming:  All RightsTalks session are recorded and each session will be available on the Commission website. Please note that by attending the event, you are releasing and consenting to the use of those photos and video in various forms of media, on the web and in print by the Commission.
 

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